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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #2)

Fri May 13, 2016, 09:55 AM

80. You haven't got the vaguest idea what you're talking about.

 

This statement is fundamentally absurd:

"c)an't stand that he lost"

Bernie Sanders biggest challenge has been coming to grips with the astounding level of support his candidacy has achieved. When he declared his candidacy, he hadn't but the slightest glimmer of possibility hat he could actually win. The entire point was to drive some national dialogue, if he could, and when he started pulling in crowds of thousands and donations from tens, then hundreds of thousands, he had to make some major decisions that he didn't expect to be confronting.

Now, have you ever met Bernie Sanders?

I have, 3 times. Once, about 2 years ago, totally by accident, I bumped into him in NY when he was heading for a Bill Moyers interview. He recalled me from a 5 minute conversation about 8 years before that, and I was rather flattering toward him. He had some time to spare, apparently, and we ended up chatting for about 20 minutes.

He dismissed my flattery gracefully, and I'll never forget just how down to earth he was. He didn't talk about himself at all, asked questions about me, my family, my interests.

I've met a few sitting Congressmen (literally - I've never met a Congresswoman), and 3 sitting Senators apart from Sanders. Each of them were very polite, but handled themselves just a bit stiffly, clearly on guard to ensure they didn't say something they didn't want to get around. (I've met a couple of them after they retired, and the tenor was completely different.)

But you spend 5 minutes with Bernie Sanders and it's obvious you're talking to the real person without any pretense. I've met people who I would have to say are almost certainly less ego-driven than Sanders, people who seem almost oblivious to their own psychological gratification on any level, and they've tended to be poor and uninterested in most activities. But a politician? Never.

The reason why he is continuing in the race is very simple. He made a commitment to hundreds of thousands of people who have donated a lot of money (and we're not in hedge funds or global capital management - it's real money that comes from real work) to stick. That's it. He made it clear that he wasn't just going to bail if the going got tough, and he's holding up his end.

You suggest that Bernie Sanders is somehow insulated by Jeff Weaver and Tad Devine. Seriously? Sanders is about as hands-on as you get from a politician. This is a guy who's both won and lost more elections than Hillary Clinton, and in the present context, he's nobody's fool.

I write things about my concerns and impressions of politicians like Hillary Clinton. But I don't claim to understand the inner workings of someone's mind. Sometimes I will straight out ask for opinions about what people think a politician's state of mind might be like, based on statements or behavior. But it's still all speculation.

I will say this, though. Coming from the experiences of 46 years of hard knocks, I am absolutely certain that the 'ego' of Bernie Sanders is a trifle compared to the nearly boundless personal ambition of Hillary Clinton. You'll find some way to dismiss what I say, even though, somewhere in the back of your mind, you'll recognize that this is true, but very inconvenient with respect to the overall point of view you've adopted.

And if you get beyond your own inner necessity to seek out ways of demonizing someone you consider to be an obstacle to something that you have decided matters to you, you might just discover that it's a very, very good thing that Bernie Sanders hasn't pulled out of the race.

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